10 Questions to ask your ADC provider before you sign off

By: Sanjai Gangadharan, Regional Director, SAARC, A10 Networks

With the explosion in Internet traffic, business applications, and the number of Internet-enabled devices enterprises have seen an increase in datacenter traffic volume. Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) provide a host of features that maintain the availability, speed, and security of this data volume and supplements and enhances business application flow. The global application delivery controller (ADC) market is estimated to cross $3.75 billion by 2022.

ADCs are heavily relied upon for their network monitoring capabilities and the ability to check a server’s state and efficiency. With ADC’s providing front-end intelligence that supplements and enhances business application flows, it is critical for organisations to analyse and closely examine the potential of ADC before buying one.

Here are 10 questions customers needs to ask their ADC solution provider before signing the deal.

Q1. Can I run all ADC features simultaneously?

One wouldn’t buy a car if they couldn’t use every feature while driving it. Imagine having to shut down the steering wheel to use stereo, or having to stop using the gas pedal in order to turn on the air conditioner. One wouldn’t feel like they got your money’s worth, and it’d be grossly inefficient.Similarly the worth of an ADC is when one can run every feature, all the time, with no limits.

Q2. What is the cost I am looking at?

One needs to know the Total Cost of Ownership for the long run before making the final purchase decision. A license renewal fee, an upgrading fee or a hidden cost popping up at every turn will only make it troublesome.

Q3. How do you support multi-tenancy?

Modern applications demand speed and security. Users do as well. When it comes to ADCs, app delivery has to be optimized and secure, with few headaches. Often, companies are running hundreds of apps, each of which requires a specific set of policies. App-specific policies can be applied and tailored to individual applications to ensure that application performs the way you need them to.

Q4. Is the ADC easy to use?

Ease of use and integration are huge factors in the purchasing decision. That’s why ADC products must be completely programmable and interoperate with other complementary infrastructure gear. Leveraging setup and configuration methods used by mainstream vendors makes devices easier to learn and deploy. Difficult-to-use solutions that is not intuitive and doesn’t adhere to industry norms, make operation all the more challenging and cumbersome; that can delay getting boxes up and running and require extra training for IT staff.

Q5. What’s your cloud strategy?

The world is moving to the cloud, along with many of the applications. ADC vendors should have a finely-tuned cloud strategy that will help the user bridge the physical and cloud-native worlds. This is especially true for service providers. If ADC vendors lack solutions for cloud-native applications, multi-cloud environments and ADC-as-a-Service, then customers might have to reconsider investing on them.

Q6. What sets your operating system apart?

Modern applications require speed and agility. If the box is running a legacy operating system or one that hasn’t been updated or optimized in a few years, your apps may feel like being performed over dial-up.

Q7. How do your ADCs scale?

There’s nothing more frustrating than a box that doesn’t scale. Don’t get burned by limited scaling, or by a forced upgrade or additional purchases to achieve the scalability your applications require.

Q8. What do the customers say?

It is necessary to learn about what an ADC vendor’s customer base thinks about them and their service. Examining of case studies, reviews, and references will give a better idea of what to expect from their solutions.

Q9. How stable is the executive leadership team?

Turmoil and turnover in the executive ranks can directly impact customers. It impacts productivity, decisions, and product direction and availability. Changes in leadership can create dramatic shifts and unsettle partners and customers.

Q10. What’s in your trophy case?

A validated recognition on the vendor adds to the confidence of the customers’ choice and results in a smooth purchase.

With these questions answered, customers can ensure their business and applications receive the best secure application services now and in the future.

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